The music world continues to feel the loss of Chris Cornell. The singer helped define the sound of the ’90s with Soundgarden and continued to fill and hearts with music until his grown suicide ears in 2017. Since then, renown has only, but the singer behind songs like “Black Hole Sun,” “Fell On Bad Days,” and “Rusty Cage” might say that his true legacy is the family he helped raise.
“I came from a childhood where I spent a lot of time alone and a lot of time just living with my imagination, and a certain amount of the adult world was kind of alienating,” Chris told Seattle PI in 2006. “And I find now, after spending a lot of time with my babies, they’re my best friends. And I still find a certain part of the adult world alienating, so I’d rather just hang out with my kids.”
Here’s what you need to know about Chris Cornell’s kids.
Born on June 28, 2000, Lilian “Lilly’ Cornell Silver is Chris’s oldest child. She is the daughter of Chris Cornell and Susan Silverwho was Alice In Chains and Soundgarden‘s longtime manager. Chris and Susan married in 1990 and divorced in 2004.
In 2020, Lily made her public performance as a tribute to Alice in Chains. She performed at the MoPOP Founders Award, singing a version of the band’s 2009 song, “Black Gives Way to Blue.” “So very honored and excited Awards to be a part of this year’s Founders honoring Alice in Chains and benefitting the Museum of Pop Culture,” Cornell Silver said in a statement, per Variety. “These guys are, and always have been, my family, and I feel so lucky to be honoring them alongside so many amazing artists. I’m singing a song that is super meaningful to me.”
In July 2020, Lila launched an Instagram TV series about mental health called Mind Wide Open. The series has featured Duff McKagen, Eddie Vedder, Fantastic Negrito Brittany Snow, Ann Wilson, Taylor Momsen, Frankie Jonas, and more.
“For my last episode of Mind Wide Open (for now), I can think of no better guest than my mom, Susan Silver, extraordinary manager of such legendary bands as Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, and others,” Lily wrote in July 2021 , per NME. “Today marks the one-year anniversary of the series, which I launched in honor of my dad on his birthday. I feel so lucky to have been able to create this series and provide a resource for mental health, a topic near to my heart.”
In 2004, Chris divorced Susan Silver, married Vicky Karayiannisand welcomed a second daughter: Toni Cornell. Born on Sep. 18, 2004, Toni grew up with a passion for the family business. “Music has been a part of my children’s lives,” Chris told Inquirer.net in an April 2017 interview. “I can’t compare my relationship to music with theirs because they’ve had a different experience. But I made a point of not telling them what to listen to. My daughter Toni has an unusual list of artists and songs she listens to.”
Toni is an ambassador for the International Rescue Committee and has used her platform to help others. Her version of Prince‘s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” a song she sang with her father, raised funds for refugees. She has also pursued music, releasing her own song, “Far Away Places,” in 2019.
In honor of Toni’s 17th birthday, the official Chris Cornell Instagram account shared some home videos. Chris sings “You Are My Sunshine” to baby Toni in the first clip. In a second clip, he and Toni team up for a rendition of Eminem‘s “Love the Way You Lie,” with an older Toni singing Rihanna‘s part. There was also a clip of the two singing Bob Marley‘s “Redemption Song” together.
Vicky celebrated her daughter’s birthday by sharing a clip that was soundtracked by Chris and Toni’s cover of “Nothing Compares 2 U.” “Happy Birthday to our beautiful girl. Daddy and I love you so much! We’re so proud of the young woman you are becoming. You are my baby girl always… and my best friend,” wrote Vicky, per Rolling Stone.
Born in December 2005, Christopher Nicolas Cornell is Chris Cornell’s only son. As of 2022, Chris “now towers over me,” wrote Chris’s widow, Vicky. Chris, like his sisters, has shown an affinity for music.
“He’s his own guy,” Cornell told Rolling Stone Australia in September 2015. “He listens to a lot of different kinds of music, and I haven’t really tried to push him in any one direction. … I think my children are definitely musically inclined, and they show it, and they’re exposed to a lot of it,” the singer continued. “And they’re their own people, and I think easily they could do something musical or they could do something in acting or film or other types of the arts, and I would fully support it.”
“It has to be done for the right reason, and I’d say that to anybody,” he added when speaking to Rolling Stone Australia. “Obviously I want my kids to be happy, and I believe that they can be super successful at whatever they want to do, but don’t make the successful part more important than the process of doing it. Especially if it’s an artistic endeavor. Make sure that it’s inspired, that’s your chief goal, ’cause I also believe that success comes from that.”